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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

BREAKING: Stephanie White fired after five seasons as Vanderbilt women’s basketball coach

White amassed a 46-83 record in five years at Vanderbilt.
Truman McDaniel
Stephanie White coaches during Vanderbilt’s abbreviated 2020-21 campaign. (Hustler Multimedia/Truman McDaniel)

Stephanie White has been fired after five years as Vanderbilt’s head women’s basketball coach, the university announced in a press release on Tuesday. White, who took over prior to the 2016-17 season, amassed a 46-83 record (13-54 in SEC play) but did not complete the 2020-21 campaign, as the team was forced to cancel the remainder of its season due to a combination of injuries and COVID-related absences left it with just seven healthy players.

“I want to thank Stephanie for her efforts over these past five years,” athletics director Candice Storey Lee said in the press release. “While we did not experience the results that we all hoped for, she held our student-athletes to high standards. She supported our student-athletes’ commitment to community service and welcomed alumni back to the program.

Since White took over as head coach, at least nine starters have transferred out of the program: Rebekah Dahlman, Vanderbilt’s leading scorer, transferred in 2015; Kayla Overbeck and Erin Whalen, both of whom were SEC All-Freshman honorees, and Blessing Ejiofor transferred in 2016; Cierra Walker transferred in 2017 and most recently—after the cancellation of its 2020-21 season—Chelsea Hall, who had notched 1,000 career points, and Autumn Newby transferred to Louisville and LSU, respectively, while Koi Love, the team’s leading scorer before the season was cancelled, is still in the transfer portal.

“I also want to thank Stephanie, her staff and our student-athletes for navigating the challenges of the past year,” Lee continued. “As I continued my evaluation of the program, I ultimately concluded that change is needed at this time. I wish Stephanie and her family the best.”

White in 2016 inherited a program that had gone just 11-22 the past two seasons in conference play. The Commodores struggled in her first two years, winning just seven SEC games, but it took a leap during the 2019-20 season: after picking up its first win over a Pac-12 opponent (Washington) since 2012, it ended the campaign with an upset victory over No. 15 Kentucky.

The press release says that the search for a new head women’s basketball coach will begin immediately.


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About the Contributors
Simon Gibbs
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on and When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
Truman McDaniel
Truman McDaniel, Former Multimedia Sports Specialist
Truman McDaniel (2023) is a student in the College of Arts & Science majoring in Environmental and Ecological Biology and Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys taking pictures, drinking coffee and watching movies. He can be reached at [email protected].    
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Paul Hemphill
3 years ago

Maybe the team will actually be on the floor during the Star Spangled Banner next year. Coach White and team had “worked something better out” than the revolutionary, innovative Republic of the United States, newly created by our Forefathers in our foundational documents: the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the US Constitution (1787). The whole world values our freedom of expression and all inclusive opportunity for economic and social liberty. That is why the world has flocked here from all parts, the land of the free and the home of the brave….for the last 200 plus years. Actually, it started with religious liberty seekers of 1620 (Pilgrims), then the Quakers, the Congregationalists, the Puritans, the Anglicans, the Methodists, etc, etc. Earth to Vanderbilt.